Captain Cleanoff - Symphonies of Slackness
Obscene Productions
21 songs (28:13)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Bar
Archive review

Look, I know the Carcass parody album title doesn’t exactly give the greatest first impression. Do yourself a favour and look past it though, because this is very far removed from being another slab of redundant Goregrind worship. Hell, it isn’t even Goregrind – what we’ve got here is straight-up old school Grindcore with a bloody great sound, mixed and mastered by none other than Scott Hull himself. As a matter of fact, when you enter the twisted world of Captain Cleanoff, you might just find that Symphonies of Slackness is one of the one of the slickest, most accomplished Grind releases in recent memory.

Even though this 2008 album was their full-length debut, Captain Cleanoff has been kicking around on the Melbourne scene since the late 90s. That decade of experience certainly helps to explain the precision and intensity of the music on this album because it’s immediately obvious these guys are running one hell of a tight ship here. The imaginatively titled instrumental opener Intro has got an atmospheric death metal vibe about it, and its relatively slow pace kind of lulls the listener into a false sense of security. Grind freaks need not be concerned though, because the first track proper Your Fate hits the ground running at full speed ahead, utterly head-bangable riffs always clearly audible despite the light-speed cacophony of the drumming. From here the Cleanoff boys don’t let up until the last track rolls around and the best part is that while they are never short on skull pounding speed and aggression, they’ve actually written a great bunch of songs too.

This is a set of songs on which the importance of variety and memorable riffs is never lost in the pursuit of aural hostility. That’s no small feat for an album that grinds its way through 21 vitriolic tracks in 28 minutes and it’s what separates this album from the countless other offerings on the market. Take a track like Blockhole or Baby Got Gunt for example, and you might be amazed to find just how catchy brutal Grindcore riffs can really be. The only other Grind act I can think of that’s putting out songs this catchy is Cattle Decapitation, although Captain Cleanoff do it with much less use of melody. It’s not just about the high quality of their riffs either, it’s also in their clever arrangements. They play around with the tempo and structure just enough to make sure the riffs have as much impact as possible, but not so much as to venture into Death Metal territory.

All of the band members have got the chops to back up their song writing too. Of particular note are vocalist Ben Parson and drummer Murray Ruse. Parson shifts effortlessly between Death growls and a vast array of squealing and yelping vocal utterances. Ruse, for his part, provides battery with a perfect blend of precision and violence that is guaranteed to snap necks. If you’re a fan of Grindcore and you need some new tunes in your life, what are you waiting for? Get on it!

Killing Songs :
Too many to's all good!
Bar quoted 90 / 100
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